The functional impact of a traumatic hand injury: a comparison of rural/remote and metropolitan/regional populations

Kingston, Gail A. and Williams, Gary and Judd, Jenni and Gray, Marion A. (2016) The functional impact of a traumatic hand injury: a comparison of rural/remote and metropolitan/regional populations. International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, 23 (9). pp. 406-413. ISSN 1741-1645


Background/Aims: The aim of this research was to explore the commonalities and differences in the issues associated with the functional recovery and rehabilitation of a traumatic hand injury experienced by people in rural/remote and metropolitan/regional areas of North Queensland, Australia.

Methods: Responses to a previously mailed survey exploring the functional impact on a rural/remote population and a metropolitan/regional population were used for analysis and comparison.

Findings: Both populations reported a loss of movement, pain and stiffness, and a significantly greater percentage of metropolitan/regional respondents reported a loss of strength. Leisure and work tasks were affected for both groups as a result of their impairment. Rural and remote respondents would have liked more appointments but found that it was expensive to get to them. There was a significant reduction for both populations of respondents reporting their occupation as labourers after having a hand injury. There was also a significant increase in those who reported undertaking home duties, were pensioners or unemployed.

Conclusion: A traumatic hand injury can have a moderate to extreme impact on work and leisure, regardless of residential location. Contextual factors related to living in rural and remote areas can be both a barrier and a facilitator to participation in functional activities. A review of service provision in rural/remote areas to address concerns regarding the expense of attending appointments and the minimal number of appointments required for rural and remote residents following a traumatic hand injury is recommended. Distance technology such as telehealth can increase flexibility of treatment and reduce the requirement to travel. The ongoing development and implementation of this technology is important to facilitate equitable health care between rural/remote and metropolitan/regional populations.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2022 02:33
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2022 02:29
Uncontrolled Keywords: hand injuries, metropolitan and regional, rehabilitation, rural and remote, clinical sciences
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110321 Rehabilitation and Therapy (excl. Physiotherapy)
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420321 Rural and remote health services
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4201 Allied health and rehabilitation science > 420109 Rehabilitation
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420699 Public health not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: doi:10.12968/ijtr.2016.23.9.406

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